Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gogo's hybrid GTO technology bringing 60Mbps download capability to airlines in 2014

Gogo's hybrid GTO technology to bring 60Mbps download capability to airlines in 2014

In a way, in-flight WiFi still seems like the future. It's the internet, in the air, while traveling at 30,000+ feet. Clearly, just having access isn't good enough, as a smattering of opponents have stepped into a segment long dominated by Gogo with snazzier, satellite-based alternatives. Over the past few years, ViaSat has stepped up in an effort to offer flyers something that Gogo's existing services won't: streaming video. While Gogo's air-to-ground network is great for latency, it struggles with bandwidth, as anyone on a crowded flight from JFK to SFO will likely attest. Today, Gogo has taken the wraps off of GTO (Ground to Orbit), described as a hybrid technology that will be "capable of delivering more than 60Mbps to the aircraft." For those keeping score, that's a 20-fold increase from where Gogo started just a few years ago.

We spoke to a company representative leading up to the reveal, who confirmed that GTO is a proprietary offering, and will lean on satellites for the downlink while using existing ground-based transceivers for the uplink. For users, that means that latency will remain low, uploads will remain sluggish, and downloads will improve dramatically. Gogo points out that precious little will need to change for airlines to take advantage; there's a new antenna, which is actually half as large as the existing one, but most everything else will remain the same. Virgin America will be the launch partner of the new service, which is expected to be available in the second half of 2014; we asked if any other airlines were onboard beyond that, but were left to make assumptions for ourselves.

Filed under: Transportation, Internet


Source: Gogo

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